By Emily Ledger
Companies in Guernsey have officially been given the go-ahead to start the process for cannabis cultivation on the Channel island. Applications are now open for businesses looking to gain a license for the processing of cannabis for medical products.
Guernsey’s Bailiwick signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK Home Office to allow the cultivation of the still-controlled substance. A new agency (the Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency (BGCA) will manage applications.
Successful applicants will be able to cultivate cannabis plants with high levels of THC – as opposed to hemp cultivation which has a limit of 0.2% THC.
Until this arrangement, only the cultivation of hemp and the processing of CBD products were permitted under license in Guernsey.
Although the processing of hemp material for the extraction of CBD is permitted in the Channel Islands, it is still prohibited in the UK – sparking consistent criticism and calls for reforms of the hemp industry.
Deputy Al Brouard, the President of the Committee for the Health Sector, commented on the agreement: “Guernsey was one of the first to recognise the potential benefits that cannabis-based products medicinal might bring.
“The MoU marks the start of a process that may allow these products to be produced on [the] island for the benefit of patients within the Bailiwick and overseas.”
As the CBD sector has sky-rocketed in recent years, the medical cannabis industry is also seeing substantial growth and investment as an increasing number of jurisdictions allow for the medical use of the plant. Industry analysts Prohibition Partners estimate that the European medicinal cannabis market alone could be valued at £16.1 billion by 2041.
Deputy Neil Inder, President of the Committee for Economic Development in Guernsey also commented: “Growers once moved into finance and now finance is moving into growing.
“The Committee will continue to support the opportunities available in the pharmaceutical industry and I’m very grateful for the effort all parties have made to deliver the long-awaited MoU.”